You can’t call it “rock and roll” anymore, because rock and roll is dead for the most part. Nor is the phrase “popular music” appropriate, because a lot of it isn’t popular, or occasionally other forms are popular too. I say phrases these days are determined by Google search, and if you google “best albums 2016” you get to the kind of list I am talking about. My main picks are:
Beyonce, Lemonade as a clear first choice. Runners-up make it three women at the top:
I thought the contributions by Kanye West and Frank Orange mostly delivered, but were not their very best material, and I don’t think I will be listening to those works two or three years from now. The albums by the old guys and also by the dead guys were pretty good, but ultimately sentimental picks and I refuse to make these lists about sentiment. The album from last year I found myself still listening to more than I had expected was Small Town Heroes, Hurray For the Riff Raff.
What am I missing?
Here are my earlier picks for world music in 2016, classical and jazz selections will follow soon.